Editor’s Note: Riah Trevino is an Editor-in-Chief for 42Fifty and had no part in the writing, reporting, or editing of this article.
A plethora of students at Oswego High School submitted pieces of art and writing to be judged and reviewed. Out of those students, 61 were chosen to either receive a Gold Key, Silver Key, or an Honorable Mention. Each year, students from all over Illinois submit pieces of work that they’ve created to Scholastic to be judged. There are two different contests that a person can submit to, either art or writing. After these submissions have been reviewed by the judges, they get split into three more categories: Gold Key (top 5-7 percent in the Midwest Region), Silver Key (top 7-10 percent in the Midwest Region), and Honorable Mentions (top 10-15 percent in the Midwest Region). There is an outstanding amount of students from Oswego High School who received these commendations.
The winners for the Silver Key in the art category include Lauren Abrell for Photography, Sophia Allen for Jewelry, Jana Azarcon for Painting, Syd Berenyi for Drawing and Illustration, Can Demirel for Art Portfolio, Ariel Fortson for Painting, Evelyn Gutierrez for Painting, Leah James for Drawing and Illustration, Moira Sutton for Comic Art, Asenath Torres for Painting, Saige Vizcarra for Sculpture, and one of 42Fifty’s own Editors-in-Chief Riah Trevino for Film & Animation, Art Portfolio and Photography.
These winners are thankful for the support provided throughout their high school art career, one of these influencers being art teacher Mr. Michael Skura.
“Mr. Skura has been a huge help in everything art-related, and he’s always willing to lend a hand no matter how busy he is,” senior Syd Berenyi said.
To conclude the art awardees for the Scholastic Gold Key are Jocelyn Arroyo for Painting, Ali Baker for Painting, Keirstyn Blomquist for Sculpture, Devin Brown for Painting, Eve Campbell for Photography, Leah James for Mixed Media and Drawing and Illustration, Anthony Maltese for Drawing and Illustration, Grace Pearson for Painting, Riah Trevino for Film & Animation, and Sophie Wiencek for Painting.
In order to achieve this prestigious award for teens, talent and inspiration must be accumulated.
“The main inspiration on my painting was to just paint my friends. I usually just do random people, but I thought to just do something different and spice things up,” junior Ali Baker said.
Visual arts wasn’t the only subcategory that racked up awards for Scholastic. The winners of the Silver Key for Writing are Julia Dedic for the Short Story “A Letter to Mom,” Robert McDonald for his Flash Fiction “Vitality,” Ronald Nichols for his Science Fiction “Before Völuspá,” and Michael Valdez for his Flash Fiction “The Struggles of a Writer.”
Finally, the 2019 Scholastic Gold Key for Writing winners are Shelbie Brasher for her poem “The Definition of Loneliness,” Melanie Lumbert for her poems “A Chemist’s Love Poem” and “Lady Wanderlust,” and Riah Trevino for her Dramatic Script “Relief.”
Senior Riah Trevino, a winner of three Gold and Silver Keys, talked about how it felt to win the award.
“At first, I didn’t really understand what it meant. I knew I entered some of my works to get something, but I didn’t really know what that something was,” Trevino said.
People unfamiliar with the departments may find difficulty understanding how the process of the awards work.
“The award process is weird, and the word ‘keys’ threw me off. I think I finally get it and understand how rare it is. I could be wrong, but I think I won the most keys in the district. I like winning. It gives me purpose and its nice to be rewarded for my hard work,” said Trevino.
The Gold Key winners are now being judged on a national level in New York City. There is also an awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall for any Gold Key winner who makes it all the way through the judging. To the students in the Art and English department at OHS, this award is a symbol of outstanding creative expression within students. Being awarded a Scholastic Key means that a person has submitted a piece of work that absolutely deserves to be recognized. OHS makes a large effort to recognize the Art and English department and the student within those departments.